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As sad as we were to see sweet Raven sent home, we are so happy to see Vanessa and Nick together and hope their attention to real life issues will help them in the real world. Good luck to the happy couple! (ABC, inc)

Bachelor Finale Recap: Happily Ever After?

It’s here folks – the day we’ve all been waiting for. And before you laugh at that sentence, if you’ve been watching The Bachelor this season you’ve put more time into Nick’s future relationship than you probably have talking to your mother over the last couple months. (Side Note: Call your mother!)

Going into tonight, I had a few feelings:

  • Nick obviously has more chemistry with Vanessa. We’re pretty sure he’s proposing to her.
  • The previews for this episode don’t show either woman walking down the aisle to Nick – which they usually do in past seasons. Does this mean that they don’t even get to the proposal?
  • Which has me thinking…Vanessa seems to have some serious concerns. What if she leaves before the proposal, and then a heartbroken Nick can’t bring himself to propose – and then he ends up alone AGAIN.
  • All the while I’m thinking all the above, I’m acutely aware that Nick has signed up to be on the next season of Dancing with The Stars, so maybe he’s trying to keep himself busy from his broken heart?

Meeting the Family
We start off the episode with a look at his poor, shell-shocked family. They all look like they’re half-defeated, half hoping that his is a joke and Ashton Kutcher is going to pop out at any time. After watching their son do this, on national television – repeatedly – they all look like they have varying degrees of PTSD. His poor mother can’t say more than five words at one time without crying.

His mother literally says, “We all have a little emptiness in our hearts for him after all of his heartaches.” Sob.

Now remember, Raven has already met his family and Bella (his younger sister), so she has a step up on Vanessa. Speaking of Bella, watching her talk to Raven (and Vanessa, for that matter) about heartbreak and emotional stability – makes me really worried for her future relationships. What is going through all this at a young age going to do to her! Hopefully Nick diverts some of the money he must be getting into a therapy fund for that poor girl. Bella – if you’re reading this – you DON’T NEED TO FIND LOVE ON A NATIONAL REALITY TV SHOW! AND EVEN IF YOU DO, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN. AND THEN AGAIN. JUST. SAY. NO.

Alright, sorry about that. I’m just worried for that poor little gal. All in all, the family seems optimistically happy with Raven. And honestly, what is there not to like about Raven? She’s sweet, caring, and head over heels in love with Nick and not afraid to shout it from the rooftops.

*Fun side note: It’s about now that I decided it would be a fun drinking game to take a drink every time, during his cut-ins, Chris Harrison says some version of the word “history” (i.e. historic, etc.). I’ve elected not to participate, since I wouldn’t be able to write this incredibly important article up for you wonderful people, but just wanted to put it out there.

Next up, Vanessa meets the family. And I’ll give it to her – she does NOT do what Raven did. Raven told them everything they wanted to hear, and I honestly believe she felt it. She told them she loved their son, she was ready for marriage and a life with him, she had no doubts, etc. etc.

Vanessa was much more realistic – and I think it scared the parents a bit. She was asking a lot of questions of them; “Is it bad if I don’t know if I want to be engaged? Do you think love is enough? Do you think Nick is ready?” These are all completely good things to talk about, but after Raven it must have really worried the family. Vanessa seems uncertain – which is a red flag.

After meeting both women, the family mentions that it seems like both Raven and Vanessa have a strong connection with Nick, but they also use the word chemistry – only for Vanessa.

Hmmm.

Final Date with Vanessa

Snooze. I always hate these final dates because it’s like every other episode, but with this heavy weight hanging over it. Nick and Vanessa hang out, and then he surprises her with – Santa? So random.

“It’s nice to hear that Santa Claus believes in and sees a future between Nick and I”.

WHAT. Yes, Vanessa actually said that. Let’s just get to his decision, folks!

Despite their jolly companion, Vanessa doesn’t give Nick a break with her tough questions. And she brings up something that – at least in the seasons I’ve seen – hasn’t been brought up by the final two…which is: having a relationship that is only slightly stronger than his relationship with another woman, might not be enough. I get it. I think I’d be the same way.

This actually brings up something I always think about at this point in the shows: imagine the “happy couple” watching this back. How much reassurance must go into those first couple of months of the relationship from the Bachelor/Bachelorette to their pick? How many times they must have to say, “I always knew it was you” and “I was faking with those other girls.”

Another side note - Vanessa calls him out for being too general when he answers questions. THANKS GIRL. We’ve been dying over that the entire season.

Final Date with Raven
In terms of comparing the two last dates – Vanessa’s and Raven’s could not BE more different. Raven and Nick go skating, play with puppies (a WAY better surprise than St. Nick, in my opinion), laugh and have a lot of fun. There is none of the heaviness that there was on Vanessa’s date.

In fact, the only time it gets a little heavy is when Raven makes it clear to Nick that if he asked, she’d say yes. I found this touching, because at this point she knows that his biggest fear is that he’d ask, and be rejected again. She’s essentially telling him she’s in, and she’s a sure thing.

Which was not what he got from Vanessa. At all.

At this point in the episode, I feel like Nick should pick Raven. She is so sweet, and she’s saying and doing all the right things. But at the same time, there is a lack of reality that Raven brings – they don’t seem to talk about real things, and as much as we like having fun and joking around – that can’t be ALL a relationship is. But at the same time, Vanessa seems way too invested in the reality of it. That relationship could do with a little fun and laugher.

If you’re reading this – the chances that you already know what happens are high. Nick proposes to Vanessa, and says goodbye to Raven.

While we think Raven and Nick could have been a wonderful couple, the chemistry between Nick and Vanessa is undeniable and was from the get-go. Our hearts go out to Raven, and it KILLS US that the show makes the women go through their whole proclamation of love before being shut down.

Watching the exact moment in her eye when she realizes she’s not getting it, is incredibly sad.

But, we wipe our tears and smile so big to see Nick and Vanessa together. They really shine around each other and have from the beginning. Hopefully their attention to real life issues will help them in the real world. Guess we’ll find out on After the Rose…

After the Final Rose
Okay, this was such a snooze fest! After already investing two hours into the episode at least make the third hour worth my time. I guess they did promise us a "shocking surprise."

Nick takes the stage: Of course Chris Harrison talks about Nick finding love blah blah and then he asks Nick about saying goodbye to Raven. And then... here comes Raven onto the stage! I think we all have a super soft spot for Raven. She was so composed when Nick sent her packing and acted like such a lady. We are just glad she didn't go all "spider monkey" on him.

And the best surprise for Bachelor Nation is that Raven will be on Bachelor in Paradise! Yay! I wonder how many hours that will suck out of our lives.

Now onto the fiancée: Vanessa talks to Chris Harrison without Nick and holy guacamole she gets real. She talks about the struggle and how some days have been really hard...do I sense trouble in paradise? I think so! But P.S. I think that Vanessa is the only contestant who has ever treated this situation like a real relationship. And here comes Nick to hopefully redeem the relationship - but the snooze fest continues. To me the whole encounter just seemed very awkward. But they did reveal that Vanessa will be moving to the states - who else thinks that won't last?

Onto the main event...Rachel! The only somewhat interesting thing that came out of Rachel and Chris Harrison's conversation was that her journey as the bachelorette was starting right then! That was our "shocking surprise." Rachel was introduced to four of the men who will be competing for her love in the next season of the Bachelorette. We have to say, the men were pretty handsome -- you go girl!

The end!

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